@abrahamkim asked me to expound upon my assertion about the secret sauce of 200WAD.
My coworker and I worked over the weekend on a document that we felt would be very beneficial for the client. We emailed it on Saturday and didn't hear anything about it for most of the day on Monday. He sent me a message in the middle of the day that read, "...and no word on our incredible scenario document from Saturday LOL" My reply: "I'm used to producing lots of content and crickets."
I had published articles online previously, but my first post on 200WAD was the first time I sat down and wrote extemporaneously and hit the publish button. We all know that feeling of putting something out in the world and having no feedback. You have no idea if anybody even found it or read it. I knew at least one person read it because Baz commented on the post. I won't say that was the reason that I kept going but it helped. I was also drawn to the streak mechanism, and I don't think I would have lasted this long without it. Maybe, maybe not. It helped.
I liked it when there was a spotlight on people who posted for the first time on the site. Some of those people may not have published anywhere before, and this was the very first time. I always commented on those posts because I remember the feeling of taking that first step and the excitement of someone interacting with me.
As writers, we have to get used to the idea of cranking out content and receiving very little (if any) feedback. That's just the way it is.
200WAD drew people who wanted to practice writing. We all have different goals and different careers and experiences, but the act of writing was the common element.
In the polarized world of social media with negativity around every corner, isn't it amazing that the vast majority of people writing here remained positive and encouraged each other? Sure there was the occasional exception (a certain rascal shall remain unnamed), but somehow the community developed in a way that benefited everyone.
There are people no longer writing on the site, but I bet they have fond memories of their time here. I bet they are also better off from writing here even if they didn't make it to #Teamstreak or publish hundreds of posts.
Then you have the long-timers who are still here who want to keep the dream alive because somehow this little corner of the internet matters. I feel it, too.
That's as close as I can get to describing the secret sauce. After all, it is supposed to be a secret.